Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu has made is categorically clear that he is not against the Bondo Society but share the concern of campaigners that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) be outlawed in the country.

His comment came on Thursday following a petition submitted to him in his Chambers at Parliament Building by Anit-FGM Campaigners led by Rudiatu Nenneh Koroma nee Turay for onward transmission to the Head of State, and Leaders of political parties in Parliament, with a view to outlawing FGM practices in Sierra Leone, excluding the Bondo Society.

The speaker of Parliament acknowledged that the call to ban FGM might sound unpleasant to a certain section of society for traditional reasons but believes that good traditions needed to be preserved while discarding bad ones. “This is an incident of evolution in every society,“ he said.

He further stated that no society could afford to remain backward and primitive forever, and that it was natural for countries to go through an evolutionary process and Sierra Leone was no exception.

He said that the time has come for our country to evaluate its cultural practices and decides as a people what is good to be preserved and what is not good to be discarded. He further added that this should be done not by force, but by persuasion. He affirmed that there is already a Standing committee on FGM in Parliament. Dr. Bundu consented to the task of presenting the memorandum to the Head of State as well as the Leaders of pollical parties in Parliament on behalf of Anti-FGM campaigners.

On December 20, 2021, 21-year-old Maseray Sei died from acute bleeding and shock a day after being subjected to FGM, and this was confirmed by the post-mortem carried out on 14 January. A few days following Maseray’s death, in a different region, a 15-year-old girl was admitted to hospital for urgent treatment after suffering serious complications due to FGM. Sadly, these are not isolated incidents in Sierra Leone. Many women and girls in recent years have died or experienced devastating harm as a result of FGM, and during the latest holiday period, there were widespread reports of hundreds of young women and girls being cut.

According to Premier News, these occurrences sparked a global call to end FGM in Sierra Leone. 130 women’s rights groups around the world called on the Government of Sierra Leone to criminalize and outlaw FGM in the country.